Ingredient Name: Chinese Mesona
Traditional Chinese Name: 仙草 (xiān cao)
What is this?
- A plant belonging to the genus Mesona of the mint family
- The species is native to and grows in abundance in East Asia
- Boiling the aged and slightly fermented stalks and leaves of Mesona Palustris for several hours with a little starch will result in grass jelly, a popular food among Asians
- This is a “yin” ingredient
How do I prepare it?
- Rinse in water and put directly into your soup.
Where can I buy this?
- You can buy this from asian dried herb shops and some asian supermarkets (the appearance varies widely).
What is the cost?
- This is a relatively inexpensive ingredient. A few grams will cost under $3 CAD.
- High fiber
- Contains phosphor, calcium, and vitamins A, B1 and C
- As a “yin” ingredient, it can be used to reduce temperature and fever
- It is also thought to prevent indigestion and lower high blood pressure
- As with any herb, eat in moderation
- Due to its “yin” nature, it may be best to avoid when pregnant
- If you’ve never tried it before, grass jelly (a black-colored jell-o) is delicious and due to its neutral taste, is a great additive in many chinese desserts.